Otis Chandler remembered at memorial

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant “The best. No two words better describe him,” said Tom Johnson, who succeeded Chandler as publisher and retired as chairman and chief executive of CNN News Group. “He excelled at almost everything he set out to do.” Chandler, who came from a family wielding financial and political power in Los Angeles, succeeded his father as publisher of the Times in 1960 while in his early 30s. Hiring top reporters and editors, and opening bureaus all over the world, within a few years Chandler took a narrow and conservative paper and made it into an internationally respected publication. During Chandler’s 20 years as publisher, and five subsequent years as editor in chief, the paper won nine Pulitzer Prizes, according to the Times’ Web site. Former New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Sr. said the revamped West Coast paper quickly got the attention of New York Times editors and reporters. PASADENA – Friends, family and journalism colleagues on Monday remembered former Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler as a fiercely competitive man who exercised incessantly, drove as fast as possible and used hunter instincts to lift the newspaper from relative obscurity to among the nation’s best. Chandler died last week at age 78. He had a degenerative brain disorder known as Lewy body disease. Though his professional legacy includes helping to build a newspaper that today competes with top national publications, many of the 500-plus people at the memorial said they also remembered Chandler as an outstanding athlete, hunter, car racer and surfer who enjoyed the waves well into his 60s. That larger-than-life persona was emphasized by a life-size portrait of Chandler at the All Saints Church entrance. “Chandler was taking our Pulitzers,” said Sulzberger, who attended the memorial. “He forced us to be better.” Louis D. Boccardi, retired chief executive of The Associated Press, said he repeatedly encouraged Chandler to write a memoir, which never happened. “But maybe he understood that not everybody had to leave a book,” said Boccardi, a longtime Chandler friend. “You could, as he did, leave a newspaper and it would speak volumes.” Living with someone so intense and successful, however, wasn’t always easy for his family. “My father thought good parenting was setting good examples,” said son Harry Chandler. “He was often too busy, or too self-absorbed to come to soccer games or get involved with career events.” But Harry Chandler said his father was always there when his children needed him, was able to apologize when he did wrong, and knew when his competitive spirit wouldn’t be enough to win. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more